Thursday, December 14, 2006

Library collegiality

This semester has afforded us many collegial moments in the library. We had a student from the Salem State graduate program spend 25 hours observing our library program and our librarians in action. She is currently a teacher at the Landmark School which allowed us to talk more specifically about our roles in independent schools. In November the Greater Boston Cooperative Library Association held its November meeting here. We presented our Library 2.0 tools – how we are implementing, evaluating, and drafting policies and procedures. Last Friday, Linda Braun brought her class on Technology in the School Library Media Center from the Simmons Graduate School to look at how we use technology and how we are using the new 2.0 applications for programming. We did our 2-hour demonstration on a SmartBoard.
Presenting is a wonderful evaluation tool. As we decide what to share with our audience, we think about what we are doing and why we do it thusly. Also, questions from colleagues often get straight to the heart of librarianship. As we ponder and answer, we also wonder if there is a better way. Reflecting on your feet in front of colleagues can be illuminating (and challenging!) Earlier this week Jen wrote about sharing resources with other libraries. I count us fortunate that we have also had wonderful opportunities to share our profession.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Felice Navidad!

We welcomed carolers this morning. Felice Navidad rang through the halls, bringing students and faculty together in a Christmas moment!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

GEORGE - "A reader's best friend"

Do you wish that you could read faster? The December 11th, 2006 issue of Newsweek magazine reports that if you read to a dog your reading speed will increase substantially. There are currently 16,000 certified therapy dogs trained for reading assistance programs, and requests for these trained dogs are pouring in from schools and libraries. The dogs curl up with their student and cause the anxiety level of the readers to go way down. This process of reading the dog a story aloud has proven to increase the number of words a minute a reader can read.
GEORGE, our astute cover boy, is ready, willing and able to lay at anyone's feet.

We know how to share

One thing libraries do exceptionally well is sharing, we share information, we share our resources. We are receiving ILLs (Inter-Library Loans) from around the state, and also sending out materials to other libraries. The Pescosolido Library belongs to a number of different networks, including, CLASS (independent schools), MassCat (Massachusetts Virtual Catalog), through NMRLS (Northeast Massachusetts Regional Library Network), we can access MVLC(Merrimack Valley Library Consortium) and WorldCat. Late fall is a heavy ILL time for the library as students are on the home stretch for a variety of projects, including the Junior Thesis papers. Inter-Library Loan services open up the availability of resources to our students and can often times bring them information they would of otherwise missed. Sharing, it's a great thing...

Monday, December 11, 2006

Waiting for the white stuff!

Tis’ the season for snow! We are waiting for its arrival, and I am sure at some point Mother Nature will provide it. For those who are skiers, snowboarders, snowshoers, and sledders, young and old, the first sign of snow brings much anticipation and excitement. Ms. Toumayan has been busy creating intricate snowflakes for our bulletin board, bringing the exciting feel of the first snowfall into the library. Here you will find some new books including, The Little Book of Snowflakes (551.57 LIB), Ken Libbrecht’s Field Guide to Snowflakes (551.57 LIB), Snow in America (551.57 MER), and a display about snow cannot be without, Poems by Frost (811.52 FRO).
Staying with the “snow” theme, I read in one of my regular Bloglines feeds about the Orange County Library System’s Virtual Library where anyone can visit and create a virtual snowman (or lady.) This is strictly for fun, but shows how our world, via technology becomes smaller. All snow people created can be added to the Snowperson Gallery. I do admit to creating a virtual snowperson (Can you find it? She is gearing up for some some holiday time), visit the gallery, try it out for yourself. Even in Florida they are dreaming of snow!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Scarves, Ribbons, Paper

The gifts I treasure most are often those that are handmade, and took time rather than money to make. OK, maybe a little money too. For those of you who have a creative streak or those of you who wish to develop your creativity, there are many books in our library to help you make interesting and beautiful items that are sure to please the people on your holiday list. There is a wonderful display of arts and crafts books in the library right now to help you get started. Among the many titles are:
The New Paper Quilling 745.45 SMI
Embroidering with Silk Ribbon 745.59CIO
Celebrity Scarves 746.43 and
Fiber and Bead Jewelry 745.59

(Photo from: Edelman, Abra. Celebrity Scarves New York: Sixth & Spring Books, 2003.)

Flakey reads

Although the snow has fallen once this season, it was of the sleety and icy variety rather than the puffy and silent. No more perfect moment exists than when one stands, face uplifted, and watches the perfect flakes drift down in utter silence. The world stops and beauty reigns. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow captured it in “Snow Flakes”: Out of the bosom of the Air, Out of the cloud-folds of her garments shaken, Over the woodlands brown and bare, Over the harvest-fields forsaken, Silent, and soft, and slow Descends the snow.
Ken Libbrecht in his Field Guide to Snowflakes (551.57 LIB) provides a behind the flake science explanation accompanied by gorgeous microphotography of the different crystals. Snow, while wondrous, can also in drifting amounts provide challenges to us. Bernard Mergen in Snow in America (551.57) gives us three hundred years of cultural history from the settling days when snow forged our character to the present when it snarls our cities and challenges our environment with our wintry pastimes. If wintry pastimes are your passion, Jim Smith’s The Art of Snowboarding (796.93 SMI) might take your participation to a new level.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Santa or Brady?

I was in a quandry. It was after 3:30 and the Pats were down. And, even though they were playing poorly, this was the time in a game when they'd pull out the magic and the win. Unfortunately, my husband was Santa for the lighting of the tree on the Newbury Green and would soon be arriving by fire engine. Santa won over Brady (although it was closer than I'll ever admit to) and I hotfooted it over to the Green. Fortunately, my son who was an elf for the afternoon texted Janet Hansen (both of them Class of '00) and she texted back that the magic had happened and the home team won.
I was happy that after watching the Santa magic, I could snuggle by the fire and read Moving the Chains: Tom Brady and the Pursuit of Everything by Charles Pierce (796.332 PIE.) Not only is it a fascinating read on the growth and development of Brady but it's also the growth of the Patriots into a team who during Super Bowl introductions ran on to the field en masse. It was that moment which kindled my growing devotion to the team. The book simply enhanced that devotion.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

That Holiday Feeling

The holiday spirit is filling the air at the library. One cannot help but be inspired when looking at the selection of materials on our Christmas display. Cookie books, favorite carols and Christmas stories from around the world fill the shelves. Our varied collection includes, Christmas Unwrapped: the history of Christmas (DVD 394.26 CHR), A Treasury of African-American Christmas Stories (SC TRE), The Physics of Christmas (394.26 HIG), The Autobiography of Santa Claus (FIC GUI), and Christmas Cookies: from the whimsical bake house (641.8 KAY). Just looking at the cookie recipes and pictures will get you inspired. (See the cookie theme I have going over my last two posts?) All we are missing is carolers, maybe in the next week and a half we will have some stop by to spread cheer.

Monday, December 04, 2006

How does your pyramid stack up?

This last month’s Library Media Collection (November/December 2006) had an interesting article titled, “Feed Your Brain!” by Tammy Failmezger. I copied the pyramid illustration as it intrigued me to think of what we read in the same context as the food pyramid we are all so familiar with. This pyramid was geared towards students, but is it something we can all benefit from to keep our minds alert, aware, healthy and growing? I have attempted to create this Brain Food Pyramid in the photo to the left. Failmezger suggests students have a healthy base to their pyramid with “Nonfiction reading” including, newspapers, magazines and nonfiction books, next “award winners”, followed by “inspirational reading”; biographies, character building stories, poems. This leads to the tip of the pyramid, with “pleasure reading” and, to be used sparingly, “mind candy.”
As I was considering my blog for today I was eating a delicious chocolate cookie from the dining hall (tempting dessert photo from today’s sweets table also below,) and thought about the last book I read and loved, Water for Elephants (FIC GRU). This may fall under the “pleasure reading”/ cookie category, but I must confess it makes for a great read without the cookie guilt. So find something at the tip of the pyramid once in awhile, it may even be better than the chocolate cookie.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Atlantic Monthly's List

December's Atlantic Monthly lists the top 100 list of influential Americans. In its 150th year of publication, the Atlantic asked 10 historians to submit their lists of those Americans who have had the greatest impact on the America of their time period and America as it is today. On the list are presidents, activists, authors, immigrants, theologians, scientists, athletes, and showmen. Walt Disney is at 26 before William LLoyd Garrison at 46 before Jonathan Edwards at 90. Debatable? Certainly and that is why the Atlantic encourages you to weigh in with your own lists and additions.